f you're like me and dread the modern 'roller blades' and long for the old days of roller rink madness, then ROLLER BOOGIE is the movie for you. Long out of print but finally available on DVD, it's enjoyable fluff that's a must for Linda Blair fans as well as disco fanatics.
Terry Barkley (Linda Blair) seems to be leading a charmed life. She lives with her parents, Lillian (Beverly Garland) and Roger (Roger Perry), in a huge Beverly Hills mansion; she's a musical genius who has been accepted to Juilliard; and she drives an expensive car complete with a car phone (unheard of in those days!). But Terry's depressed, she doesn't care about her scholarship to Juilliard. As she tells her shocked mother, "So what! I'm a musical genius! What a drag, what a bummer!" Instead, Terry is at her happiest when she and her snobby girlfriend Lana (Kimberly Beck) are roller-skating along Venice Beach. Terry's lawyer father is just aghast at his daughter's behavior: "It's that insane disco music!"
But perky Terry is determined to spend her summer the way she wants to. While getting her groove on at Jammer's, the hottest rink in town, Terry is dazzled by the moves of Bobby James (Jim Bray), the best skater on the beach. She offers him money to teach her how to "dance on skates," and of course, Bobby accepts because a) she's cute and b) he's poor.
As any audience member could've predicted, the poor little rich girl and the poor boy start a whirlwind romance, which mortifies Terry's snooty family and puzzles Bobby's fun-loving group of friends: Hoppy (Jimmy Van Patten), Gordo (Albert Insinnia) and Phones (Stoney Jackson). Terry and Bobby's goal is to win the big "Roller Boogie" contest at the end of the summer, but their bliss is ruined by a criminal named Thatcher (Mark Goddard). Thatcher wants to buy the roller rink from Jammer (Sean McClory), tear it down, and build a mini-mall. At first, Jammer refuses to sell, but then Thatcher and his men threaten Jammer with a gun, and Thatcher warns: "This place could go up in flames, full of kids." Worried about his customers' safety, Jammer closes the rink down and plans on moving to the desert, "to watch the cactus grow."
Now spunky Terry and Bobby aren't going to let Thatcher get away with this. Terry begs her father for help, but it turns out that Thatcher is a client of his. This causes a nice melodramatic argument where Roger slaps a stunned Terry and Lillian storms out in a huff. Luckily, Bobby's friend Phones has discovered that he recorded Thatcher threatening Jammer and has this evidence on tape. Terry and Bobby confiscate the tape and plan on going to the authorities - but Thatcher finds out and a chase ensues throught the streets of Venice. It's quite entertaining, too, as our heroes on skates manage to outwit Thatcher's speeding limousine at every turn.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out if Terry and Bobby will save the rink and win the big boogie contest, but it's a fast-paced and entertaining jaunt. ROLLER BOOGIE captures the carefree spirit of the late 1970s with colorful roller skating and dancing routines, funky clothes and hairstyles, and catchy disco tunes. It's a harmless romp from simpler times that's breezy fun for viewers of all ages.
Don't forget that Roller Boogie is now available to order on Widescreen DVD using our special 70s search device... [See DVD section or click here for more details]
By: Dave Grubka
Not only is it love on wheels, it's great fun on wheels! This movie was panned by critics but did good numbers at the box office when released.
When you watch "Roller Boogie," you just want to grab a pair of skates and join Linda & friends in Venice, CA!
Venice beach was extensively used.
Can you help? Do you know any of the Los Angeles, S. California filming locations used for Roller Boogie? [Please send them in]
A two-record soundtrack to ROLLER BOOGIE was released by Casablanca Records And FilmWorks.
1. Hell On Wheels (Cher) 5:32
2. Good Girls (Johnnie Coolrock) 3:38
3. All For One, One For All (Mavis Vegas Davis) 4:20
4. Boogie Wonderland (Earth Wind & Fire with The Emotions) 4:48
5. We've Got The Power (Ron Green) 5:15
6. Top Jammer (Cheeks) 4:12
7. Summer Love (Bob Esty) 3:53
8. Takin' My Life In My Own Hands (Ron Green) 5:25
1. Elektronix/Roller Dancin' (Bob Esty & Cheeks) 5:00
2. Cunga (Bob Esty) 4:54
3. Evil Man (Mavis Vegas Davis) 4:17
4. Lord Is It Mine (Bob Esty) 4:26
5. Rollin' Up A Storm/The Eye Of The Hurricane (Bob Esty) 6:30
6. The Roller Boogie (Bob Esty) 6:09
7. Love Fire (Bob Esty & Michelle Aller) 5:33
Soundtrack Available: Used Vinyl LP / Tape
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